The goal of GeoHazards International's commitment is to adapt and apply 'tele-presence' communication systems, presently used by the management of international corporations, to allow structural engineers and architects who are skilled in earthquake-resistant and energy-efficient design to be 'virtually' present in remote villages of India, where they can train and work with local para-engineers. GeoHazards International proposse to develop, with its partners, a mobile, less expensive version of the tele-presence technology and to deploy this system in the offices of NGOs in India and structural engineering and architectural firms in developed countries, and in mobile units that can be operated in communities in remote regions of India.
One key issue that this commitment addresses is the disproportionate emphasis on response to natural disasters compared to mitigation of their consequences. 90% of the world's resources that are spent on the management of natural disasters are currently directed to post-disaster response, reconstruction and recovery. Only 10% are spent on pre-disaster preparation, mitigation, and prevention -- those activities that actually save lives and reduce economic losses. Because of this Commitment to Action, schools and health clinics would not collapse during earthquakes.
The following activities must be undertaken to implement this commitment:
- Identifying, meeting and recruiting critical partners, including a tele-presence provider, a software company, and philanthropic foundations
- Adapting existing tele-presence technology to our project requirements
- Developing an assessment protocol
- Developing an interactive software package
- Training para-engineers to use equipment and software, and to inspect schools and health clinics
- Consulting among para-engineers and engineering/architectural experts to review the vulnerability assessments and to develop the seismically-resistant and energy-efficient retrofit solutions
- Training local construction workers on retrofit methods
- Monitoring the construction process
The first milestone is January 2010 when GeoHazards International will have:
- Identified and met with critical partners, and secured their commitments;
- Started to develop and use a prototype of the tele-presence system;
- Started to develop the structural vulnerability and energy consumption assessment protocols;
- Started to train three para-engineers in methods of evaluating buildings;
- Started to assess the vulnerability and energy consumption of the first community's school and health clinic.
The second milestone is January 2011, when GeoHazards International will have:
- Completed development of prototype tele-presence system
- Completed design and retrofit construction of the first school and health clinic;
- Refined evaluation protocols, inspection processes, and tele-presence system; and
- Trained ten additional para-engineers who will each be assigned to work in three new communities.
In year 3 and subsequent years, GeoHazards International will continue to increase the number of trained para-engineers, and they will continue to make assessments and construct retrofitted schools and health clinics.